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Case of Borei Keila evictees delayed

Case of Borei Keila evictees delayed

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Children from the Borei Keila community cry during a demonstration outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Three women representing 120 families suing the developer at Borei Keila arrived at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday – as summonsed – only to be told the court was too busy to hear their case.

Borei Keila representative Sou Im, 58, said that municipal prosecutor Seang Sok had called in her and two others over their suit against Phan Imex owner Suy Sophan, who they claim is responsible for violence inflicted on families during their January eviction.

“If the [authorities] are busy, why did they put today’s date as the deadline for this to be resolved?” she said.

Chum Ngan, another woman summonsed, said the villagers’ complaint was filed in March.

Sophan’s Phan Imex agreed in 2004 to build 10 multi-storey buildings for more than 1,700 families on two hectares at Borei Keila in exchange for land they occupied.

Only eight were built, and the families that missed out and refused to relocate were evicted by police and their houses demolished on January 3.

Sophan told the Post yesterday she had no case to answer.

“The events of January 3 were carried out by the [municipal] authority,” she said. “Those trying to sue me have been given homes and sold them – now they want more . . . they want them for their grandchildren.”

An unnamed court official said the court delayed the case because of the unruly behaviour of villagers outside.

To contact the reporter on this story: Khouth Sophak Chakrya at [email protected]

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